Alchemy, Science and Magic have more in common than many believe. One of the beliefs common to all three is that if we find the right buttons to push we can do anything we desire. There are no limits to human advancement because there are no limits on humans. We are the top of the food chain. If we can desire it, we can, and more importantly we should, have it. Base metals into Gold, Utopia through Research and Development, perform the proper ritual and voila the G-ds are at your beck and call.
This belief that we are the top banana has always led us down the garden path to death and destruction. Greeks, Jews, Romans, Chinese, Japanese, Native Americans, Brits, Irish, Scots, French, German, Russian, pick your people, pick your time the story is always the same. Bad attitude gives bad results and the worst attitude you can develop is arrogance,
I could go on for many paragraphs showing what arrogance is but it is a lot easier to simply say humility is the flip-side of this coin. Go back to the stories of your people and you will find that humility, being truly aware of who and what you are, is the way to stay out of trouble.
We are a part of the whole. We are part of the wheel of life. Take a look at your finger. What makes up your finger has always been in the universe. Perhaps as a star, or a planet, a carrot, or a worm but your raw material has always been here. All that is has always has been and always will be. Of a certainty the shape and function will change but the raw material stays the same.
One of the most influential teachings in my life has been the understanding that I should be nice to everyone and everything because at one time or another everything has been my mother and my child. I know that will sound strange for some of you but think about it for a while. All I really just said was that the universe is a closed system and sooner or later everything gets recycled into everything else.
Being a part of everything means that when we help the least, cloth the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted we help, cloth, feed, and comfort ourselves. Conversely when we harm the least, strip them naked, create hunger, and bring affliction we also do it to ourselves.
When we harm our Mother Earth we harm ourselves. If we rip out her guts we rip out our own. If we kill off entire species we kill off ourselves.